Sunday, June 8
Our man in Baghdad
Megan Lane, BBC News Online, 19 may, 2003
Throughout the Iraq war, Rageh Omaar stood on a hotel rooftop in Baghdad and told it to us straight. We talk to the news man whose cool, calm delivery - and boyish good looks - made him a household name. [...]
For three months - almost without cease - he took the temperature of the beleaguered capital in reports seen by almost 90% of Britons on either BBC bulletins or News 24, despatches that were also syndicated widely abroad.
In the process, Omaar developed quite a fan base. Viz magazine dedicated its latest issue to "Britain's best-loved bullet-dodging dreamboat". The New York Post dubbed him the Scud Stud. A website all but sold out of T-shirts bearing his noble visage. And in New Zealand, where tributes come typically low-key, a reporter with the national radio network named one of her lambs Rageh.
What he finds somewhat bewildering is the interest in him as a person - indeed, when he took a break from reporting duties, the BBC received numerous e-mails inquiring as to his safety. [...]